3 March 2023 – LGBTIQ+ group Equality Australia CEO Anna Brown has paid tribute to Ukrainian advocate Olena Shevchenko, today named on the 2023 TIME Women of the Year list.

The announcement comes on the final day of Sydney WorldPride’s Human Rights Conference.

“It is such an honour to be able to share this moment with Olena and pay tribute to the extraordinary work she has done in Ukraine, not just helping LGBTIQ+ people but also women, the elderly and disabled people,” Ms Brown said.

“Her work and advocacy remind us that around the world LGBTIQ+ people face varying degrees of discrimination and difficulty – whether it be a war zone in Ukraine, a prison cell or online hate.

”The Human Rights Conference has heard from more than 200 presenters including international human rights defenders, legal experts, sportspeople, celebrities, academics, advocates, corporates, Special Envoys and UN representatives. It is the largest LGBTQIA+ Human Rights Conference ever to be held in the Asia Pacific region and the cornerstone event of Sydney WorldPride.

This conference is a reminder there is a serious side to all the incredible parties and events,” Ms Brown said. “We have celebrated the diversity of culture and identity in Asia and the Pacific and shone a light on the widespread human rights abuses faced by those in LGBTIQ+ communities.

Together we can create a world where all people can live free from discrimination and harm.”

Conference outcomes:

  • Federal Government commits to develop a strategy on LGBTIQ+ rights in the Asia Pacific region.
  • Foreign Minister Penny Wong announces $3.5 million for the first dedicated Australian fund to support LGBTIQ+ civil society organisations and human rights defenders in Asia and the Pacific.
  • Federal Government announces new LGBTIQA+ national health action plan and $26 million in dedicated health and medical research.
  • ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr announces his government will introduce legislation later this month to stop unnecessary medical procedures on intersex people without their consent.
  • NSW Government calls on the Federal Government to include LGBTIQ+ people in the next Census.

“This conference has delivered tangible outcomes that will improve the health and human rights of our communities in Australia and our region, as well as bringing together our global movement for three days of connection and learning, hearing from important voices that are all too often ignored,” Ms Brown concluded.

Sydney WorldPride CEO Kate Wickett said more than 1500 people from around the globe took part in the conference along with thousands more who watched online.

“The conference has delivered an inspiring but at times challenging exploration and discussion of LGBTQIA+ rights and issues facing our community both regionally and globally,” she said. “This conference was about ensuring that Sydney WorldPride was more than a party. It has been a celebration with a purpose of making a difference to the lives of our community while building a lasting legacy for the future.“Today, we hand over the hosting rights of WorldPride to the next hosts Washington DC, who will continue to build on the legacy and impact of the Pride movement.”


Tara Ravens 0408 898 154 | media@equalityaustralia.org.au

Take Action